Yes this has been Holy Week , the last week of the unressurected Christ on earth. Last week I learned that He continue teaching that week, the last week and I am sure that no one else on this planet would do that of they were told it was their last week. Instead I am sure we would all be doing selfish things. This week has been a dark week of grace, one that I can’t get a handle on it, though I try. Several times this week the youngest has said ” I don’t feel safe” and I do not know what that means. It has been a calm week, we got the taxes done or at least to the CPA , we got the plumbing issue taken care of and we have generally had a quiet week, no surprises; except the not feeling safe.
it breaks my heart each time he reports this feeling. I feel inadequate as a mother and I just am confused as to what to do to make it better, after all that is what mother’s do isn’t it, make things better. And yet sometimes you just can’t make things better, no matter how hard you strive. It is then that you learn to lean, rest and trust in the One who is in all things, over all things and through all things. This dark grace when times are tough are also times of being enveloped in the dark cloud of God – the araphel. A time not only of clouded thoughts and confused thinking; but also a time of protection in this cloud. I have learned to sit in this dark cloud for many days, sit is this grief, sit in this tearful sadness which does not disappear. I have learned to cry silent tears, and to acknowledge that my heart’s desire (my son’s healing) may never occur in this corporal lifetime, but also to acknowledge that one day he will be fully restored. Not just to his former pre-psychosis self, but to a fuller, perfect self he was created to be, in a place where there are no more tears. It is a hard pill to swallow, especially on days when “I don’t feel safe” is repeated along with “you don’t understand” and I am tired.
as Job says “are we to only take the good And not the bad ?” Indeed we are to take all of it; the good , the bad and the ugly and we can take all of it and rest in the dark cloud of God knowing that He will never leave nor forsake us. My prayer for today is that I will rest in this araphel, rest in the assurance that God is with me and for me. And know that He is in all things, over all things, and through all things. AMEN
So this week has been a pretty good week. We had family group and talked about giving space or creating space between me and the youngest. He has been tightly attached for a while and I have not been able to find the right way or path to some detaching, it is a work in process. And the process is long and fraught with steps, half steps and backward steps but hopefully not to many of the backward kind. So it was decided at family that the youngest would have his individual therapy the next day and that dad would bring him so I could go to my book club. Well that did not happen, you see the trips in the car right now bother the youngest, traffic, noise and such really bother him especially when he goes to an appointment, not so much when he is on his way home. So compromise we did, I took him in and his dad brought him home. I went to book club ( which the youngest calls his fan club lol) and it worked well. Perhaps this will be the new norm to create some space , create support but not a crutch. This is hard because I am struggling with this transition. On his good days developmentally the youngest is 17-19 years old, but because his psychosis hit during the time when most teens are doing their stretching, decision-making, leaving home time the youngest has not had the practice to do this and I think it stresses him quite a lot. But you can’t learn if you don’t practice and I am trying to figure out ways he gets more of the practice . I don’t recall how the other siblings did this either but perhaps I should ask them for some suggestions. I do remember in Girl Scouts as a leader we would give the girls choices,usual two, always safe like do you want to hike trail A or trail B and then discuss the options . I need to think of things like that for the youngest so he can stretch his decision making skills, give him options, discuss what problems might occur and then follow through. And I need to think whatever I do, is this a step forward , a half step or is it a backward step and then be firm that we are not taking backward steps. Even a little step forward is better than nothing and nothing is wasted even the tiniest forward motion. In God’s hands the smallest step in faith is multiplied and made larger for His glory. As it says in 2 Corinthians 3:18 we are to move, change transform from glory to glory, so my prayer today is to be in forward motion from glory to glory, a support but not a crutch. Amen
So all last week and for a part of this week the verse from Romans 8:28 keeps coming up in various devotionals and in different ways. Maybe I need to get the message that nothing is wasted -ever. Even when we make what we consider are mistakes, the Lord God can take that mistake and knit ( I just love that knitting is biblical!) that mistake into good. I just recently finished Max Lucado’s book “you will get through this” and wow were there a lot of mistakes and downright meanness in that story of Joseph with the coat of many colors!!! But God did His thing knitted it all together for the good and thousands of people were saved from starvation during a famine!! So this past week one of the elder members of our church died, she was 94 and had Alzheimer’s ( which is a terrible disease) . The funeral was Sunday afternoon and I had pondered about not going as I did not know the family real well and could only remember the person from my teaching Bible class but she had not been present for at least ten years. On an urge (perhaps the Spirit) I decided to go. When I told the youngest, he immediately said “can I go with you?” So I said yes but explained to him that he would have to sit in the sanctuary, with a lot of people, many of which he would not know. But he said that was ok, even though at church earlier he could not do the exact same thing, except with less people and all of which he knows! So off we went, I must admit I was about concerned about the whole adventure and we did surprise more than a few people. That was kind of cool and we did the whole service, no squirming, no rapid pulse, no panic, just calmly participating. So was this a foreshadowing , or just another step forward in the two step forward one step back dance we have been doing recently. I don’t know but I am glad I listened to the Spirit, glad the opportunity for growth was presented and not wasted. Even if this is the one step forward before the two steps back it is still a step forward and for this I am grateful and even more in awe of our Lord who wastes no effort even in the smallest of things because He can magnify all those little things into a glorious tapestry , knit together as only He can. So my prayer today is one of humbleness and thankfulness for the Lord God who knits all things together -amen.
So for 11 months we have had an ongoing struggle with the youngest who has been stuck. With his anxiety so very high that to just sit out on the back porch took a lot of cajoling and talking, and then the time out on the porch was brief. This coupled with his constant need for my presence has been rather draining.
We have had several hundreds of counseling visits , individual, family and personal. It has been hard and tiring. I recently read Max Lacudo’s book “You’ll get through this. Help and hope for turbulent times.” I wish I had read it 10 months ago. In it he references the story of Joseph ( the one with the coat of many color) and his struggle through being tossed in a pit, put in prison unjustly to finally after 30 or so years , he is reconciled with his family. I love it that THROUGH seems to be one of God’s favorite words. No matter where Joseph was , God was also there THROUGH whatever. I have certainly experienced the presence also but today during family was one of those ” praise the Lord” moments.
During the session the youngest stated that he was ” good” because he was tired of being “sick “. Wow, taking ownership of where he was moving towards might not seem like a big step but indeed it is a huge step. All during this 11 month struggle we have been coaxing, cajoling, encouraging and just being with the youngest. I have,on some days , thought well this is never going to end. And yet all the while, God has been using this time to get the youngest to a place where he could say ” I am tired of being sick “. All the days he has tagged along with me and gone wherever I went has been used, nothing has been wasted in what seemed like a long time of waiting. I am more convinced today that indeed as it says in Romans 8:28 “and we know that in ALL things God works for the good of those who love Him.” Yes, indeed He does work behind the scenes, in the scenes and over the scenes. Again as it states in Ephsians 4:6 “one God the father of all who is in all things, over all things and THROUGH all things” . I know this now better than I could have before because I have experienced it. Now for the next step, well that is for what I have been gifted to flow from me and out. As in 2 Corinthians 1:3-5 (parapharasing) “the God of all comfort, comforts you during trials so that we can comfort others who also have troubles” . I don’t know how this will happen , perhaps someone will read this blog, or perhaps I will meet with someone but I need to be aware and be the vessel which allows the flow of such blessings to happen. So my prayer today is one of thanksgiving, one of humility, one of humbleness and again of thanksgiving, that the one true Lord of all is indeed THROUGH all things amen.